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Hitting Bottom

Usually It Must Get Worse Before It Gets Better

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Updated May 14, 2014

For those suffering from the disease of alcoholism it seems to be an almost universal truth that before things can get better, they have to get worse -- sometimes a lot worse.

They call it "hitting bottom" -- the place an alcoholic must reach before he finally is ready to admit that he has a problem and reaches out for help.

After all, for the true alcoholic, it doesn't seem to him (or her) that he has a problem. He's just having a good time. If everybody would just get off his back, everything would be okay. He's got a disease, but it sure doesn't seem like one and the last thing that would ever occur to him is that he needs help.

Because alcoholism is a progressive disease, there comes a point at which even the most dedicated drunk decides that there just might be a problem.

Alcoholism does not stay in one place. It doesn't hit a certain stage and then level off. It keeps deepening, affecting him physically, mentally, morally and spiritually. On all of those levels he keeps getting worse until finally he hits bottom.

So where is bottom? Nobody really knows.

Where Is Bottom?

For some, getting that first DUI might be where the turning point comes. Getting locked up, even for a few hours, and facing the public humiliation of a court date is for some the only signal they need they have a problem.

For others, however, 10 drunk driving arrests have no affect whatsoever. Driving without a license and frequent visits to the local jail don't phase them at all.

Alcoholics have lost driver's licenses, jobs, careers, girlfriends, wives, family and children and have continued to deny they have a drinking problem.

It was always somebody else's fault. His wife just didn't understand him. The only reason he got that DUI was because he was driving a red vehicle and cops watch for red vehicles. He wouldn't have all the problems he's got if it weren't for those MADD mothers!

His boss was a real pain to put up with anyway. His career as a professional was going nowhere fast and besides he enjoys selling used cars -- gets to meet more people.

Some alcoholics go on for many years denying their downward spiral into social, economic and moral decline. But every alcoholic has a "bottom" out there to hit. A place where even the hardest of the hardcore drinkers finally admit that their lives have become unmanageable.

If this sounds familiar, there are a few questions that you might want to ask yourself about your own use of alcohol. It doesn't have to get any worse before you can find help putting your life back on track.

  1. About.com
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  3. Alcoholism
  4. Alcoholism 101
  5. Hitting Bottom for an Alcoholic or Addict

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